Bolsonaro Government Charges US Out Journalist Glenn Greenwald with Cybercrimes

“This is despicable, dangerous, and a crime against journalism.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald was reportedly charged with cybercrimes by Brazilian authorities Tuesday in connection to his reporting on corruption in the country, a move by the right-wing government of President Jair Bolsonaro that was quickly and forcefully condemned by progressives and journalists around the world.

“This is beyond disturbing,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Prosecutors claimed that Greenwald—who has lived in Brazil with his husband, David Miranda, for many years—was at the center of a “criminal conspiracy” to hack cellphones of government officials.00:0000:45

According to the New York Times:

Citing intercepted messages between Mr. Greenwald and the hackers, prosecutors say the journalist played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.”

For instance, prosecutors contend that Mr. Greenwald encouraged the hackers to delete archives that had already been shared with The Intercept Brasil, in order to cover their tracks.

Prosecutors also say that Mr. Greenwald was communicating with the hackers while they were actively monitoring private chats on Telegram, a messaging app.

“Stand with Glenn,” Young Turks reporter Emma Vigeland tweeted. “This is criminalization of journalism.”

Greenwald’s reporting for The Intercept Brasil on corruption has roiled Brazil over the past year. Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro has been a frequent target of the exposés, which have shaken public confidence in the Bolsonaro government.

On Tuesday, the government took action after months of threatening to go more aggressively after journalists, including Greenwald.

Reporting of the charges did not include comment from Greenwald, whose condition and safety were unknown at press time.